Course Selection Windows

Course Waiver Process

Many courses offered at the University have enrolment criteria that identify which students are eligible to register for the course. Criteria may include one or more of the following: 

  • have completed (or are expecting to complete) the course prerequisite(s), which may include a minimum number of credits and/or one or more courses;
  • belong to a particular cohort of students (e.g., program, major, etc.);
  • have obtained specific instructor consent; or
  • have not completed and are not currently enrolled in an equated course. Equates are listed in the “Restrictions” field of a course description.

See the Glossary in the Academic Calendar for definitions of prerequisite, corequisite and equated courses.

Students are normally restricted from registering for courses for which they do not meet the criteria. 

Additionally, students are normally restricted from registering for courses after the final add date, when the course is full or when doing so would result in their being registered in more than the normal semester load for a program. 

However, students may seek permission to have enrolment criteria waived through the course waiver process.

Please note that the course waiver process is intended for special circumstances. Enrolment criteria, seat capacity, add deadlines, etc. are established with student success in mind and should only be waived in certain cases. Approval to be waived into a course is not guaranteed.

How do I know if I don’t meet the criteria for a course?

In most instances, enrolment criteria for a course are indicated within the Student Planning tool on WebAdvisor.

Here is a snapshot of a course description in Student Planning. As you can see under the “Requisites” section, only students who have completed at least 7.50 credits and have completed either HIST*1010 or SOC*1500 are eligible to enrol in this course.

Screenshot of HIST*3130 course on WebAdvisor showing the course description, department offering the course (Department of History), location (Guelph), semesters offered (summer and fall), and requisites (7.50 credits including HIST*1010 or SOC*1500

Attempting to enrol in a course without meeting the established criteria will return error messages, letting you know that a) you failed to register for the course and b) the criteria you did not meet.

Criteria for each course are also listed in the Academic Calendar.

Restrictions based on program, specialization and/or semester level may be placed on a course to manage enrolment. Visit the Temporary and Priority Access Course Restrictions page for more details. Based on enrolment, some of these restrictions may be lifted before the end of the course selection period, while others may remain in place.

How do I complete the Course Waiver Process?

If you do not meet one or more criteria for a course, you can seek permission from the instructor or their designate to have the criteria waived. Approvals are not automatic, nor guaranteed.

Steps for completing the course waiver process:

Step #1 – Identify the courses you are interested in taking that will require a course waiver. 

Step #2 – Download the appropriate course waiver request form. 

Step #3 – Inquire about securing the required signature(s). 

  • In most instances, a signature from the course instructor or their designate (e.g., Faculty Advisor, Program Counsellor) will be required. For undergraduate courses, check the list of Course Waiver Contacts to determine who you should contact to sign the waiver. If the instructor is the required contact but they are listed as “TBA” for the course on WebAdvisor, consult the appropriate department's office. (The department offering the course is listed in the course description. Refer to the contact information for administrators in each department.)
  • In select instances, a signature from your Program Counsellor (for undergraduate/diploma students) or Graduate Program Coordinator (for graduate students) may be required.
  • There are multiple instructor signature areas on the Course Waiver Request Forms for different types of restrictions. Ensure you have the instructor or designate sign in the area(s) that corresponds to the restriction(s) you are asking to have waived! Sometimes more than one restriction will need to be waived for a course.

Step #4 – Submit the signed form to the team at the Lincoln Alexander Student Service Centre (The Linc). 

  • Email the completed form to or submit it in person at The Linc. If you are emailing it, please attach the form directly to the email – do not upload it to OneDrive.
    • Exception: for graduate students adding UNIV*7510/7520 in the Late Add Period, email the signed form to OGPS – Records.
  • You are permitted to submit completed Course Waiver Request Forms prior to your course selection period. In such instances, The Linc team will process your form(s) once your course selection window opens

One exception to the process detailed above is the procedure for undergraduate/diploma students requesting a credit overload (taking more courses in a semester than normally allowed for your program). To request a credit overload, simply connect with your Program Counsellor

Types of restrictions for undergraduate and diploma students

Restriction you are seeking to have waived Signature(s) required
The add deadline has passed Instructor/designate AND Program Counsellor
The course is already full Instructor/designate
You have not completed (or are not expecting to complete) the prerequisite(s), which may include a minimum number of credits and/or one or more courses Instructor/designate
You are not a member of a particular cohort of students (e.g., 1st year B. Comm. students) Instructor/designate
Course requires instructor consent Instructor/designate
Enrolling in the course would place you in credit overload Program Counsellor (Course Waiver Request Form not required)